Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Defining death for my daughter is like painting stars with watercolors, each drop exploding into paper veins, indistinct and blurry. There is no edge--no clear line for me to walk and explain away life. How can I tell her not to fear it when I haven't even really given her a Heaven to hold onto? I cannot say that giving her a Heaven would didn't for me. A gray cloud heavy with unrained Saints, and I still had nothing but my own two hands.

My moon-girl has become increasingly fearful of death as the weeks pass and summer yields to fall. The trees die off in great swaths of gold and crimson all around us and I want to tell her just not to think about loss, but it is how can I shield her from it? She is a bit young for all of this, but I don't get to decide when her emotions will flare. I'm just standing at her side, waiting out the storms when they surface on her horizon. What else can I do?

For my newest job as the Reviews Editor at Natural Family Magazine, I had to have a picture done. This might seem simple enough, except for the small fact of my supreme "non-photogenic" flaw. Yes, I have seen a couple of pictures taken in my lifetime where I look like myself...I'm smiling, for instance, or I actually look like I have two eyes, a nose, and a mouth. I find getting pictures done undeniably when the magazine said they needed a "headshot" I felt a palpable tremor hit. My father-in-law sat me down with his digital camera and did his worst. After 30 or more pictures I finally found one where I didn't look like Quasimodo, the hunchback of Notre Dame. I sent it off to the publisher after agonizing some more. Only...she went ahead and posted my bio without a picture. There's just a small red "X" where my face should be...I'm beginning to think perhaps the shot was more frightening than I initially thought, just generally second guessing everything, as usual.

After my initial reluctance to have the thing done in the first place, now I'm thinking: if I actually went through all of that to get the damn thing done, it better get posted! Most folks just get their pictures taken and smile--THE END. Most of their children do not force them to change the channel on the radio when a song comes on that mentions dying (more songs than you think, incidentally) But, this is where I am today...the baby crying, the phone ringing, and time spinning off with every breath. Ready or life comes!


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